During an air show in New Orleans, celebrated female Navy pilot Lindsay Garrett fatally crashes a new jet, the Skystormer. The team must find out if it was pilot error or mechanical failure, as the Skystormer is set to go into production as a major part of U.S. defense.
The team quickly figures out that the ACS was activated mid-flight, resulting in the crash. Due to the design, it seems like possible suicide, but no one really believes that Lt. Garrett would do it under those circumstances. Her father, Captain Garrett, is even more adamant. Loretta eventually discovers neurotoxin in Garrett's system, indicating that she was poisoned. The trail leads them to several suspects, from the documentarian to one of her squad mates.
After one of her squad mates is found unconscious in his Skystormer, it isn't long before the team realizes the truth: both of them are suffering from mercury poisoning. More than that, the mercury was inhaled, and it was obviously connected with the Skystormer itself. Sebastian quickly locates the faulty part in the original Skystormer crash site: an overheated coupling. The company had outsourced production of the coupling to a foreign manufacturer in order to save money, but the shoddy workmanship ultimately resulted in the fatal poisoning of Lt. Garrett. The team is able to determine that in her last moments she activated the ACS in order to avoid the hundreds of spectators in the stands.